Seniors Present Honors Theses at Annual Jamboree

The English Department held its annual undergraduate Honors Thesis Jamboree on April 14 in the Event Space. The event, which showcased the thesis projects of the department’s honors students, began with a coffee/tea reception and featured three panels in which students gave brief overviews of their theses and fielded questions from the audience.

From left, Prof. Mclane, Amber Hunter, Paloma Van Tol, Louisa Brady, and Beatrice Masih

Director of Honors Maureen Mclane praised the seniors for the range and depth of their work. “Our Honors seniors have surveyed everything from the Fitgeralds to flaneurie, from Jane Austen to J.L. Austin; from Chaucer to children’s literature,” she said in her concluding remarks. “They have written groundbreaking work on the newest writers in English and have revivified some of the oldest in the language; they have analyzed texts, paratexts, subtexts, contexts, and supertexts.”

Alexandra Reis discusses her thesis on F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

Prof. Mclane also praised the seniors for undertaking humanist inquiry at a time when “a general contempt for art and scholarship seems to be the new normal.” She noted that the seniors exemplified what “humanist collaboration should and might be,” coming together throughout the year as an intellectual community in the “spirit of collegiality, critique, and encouragement.”

Jamboree cake

At the reception following the event, everyone enjoyed cake and toasted the honors class. Congratulations to our honors seniors, and many thanks to Prof. Mclane for expertly guiding them through the year-long process of research and writing. Thanks also to Mary Mezzano, assistant to the undergraduate program, for her logistical support; to Dr. Amanda Watson, English Subject Librarian at Bobst, for her invaluable research assistance; to Prof. Jini Kim-Watson (DUS) and Prof. Nicholas Boggs (Director of Undergraduate Research and Advisement), who served on the Honors Thesis Prize Committee along with Prof. Mclane; and to all the faculty who served as advisors and second readers for these projects.

Name Thesis Title
Louisa Brady Holes and Dreams in the Pursuit of Diversity Within Diversity: Louis Sachar’s Holes and Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming

(Advisor: Prof. Nicholas Boggs; Reader: Prof. Sonya Posmentier)

Francesca Ciervo “The Medieval Legalities of Raptus: An Exploration of Female Consent and Sexual Violence in The Canterbury Tales, and The Book of Margery Kempe

(Advisor: Prof. Christopher Cannon; Reader: Prof. Carolyn Dinshaw)

Auriane Desombre ’I Will Not Be the Girl’: Gender and Dual Narrative Power Structures Across Medium in Gone Girl and The Last Five Years

(Advisor: Prof. Josephine Hendin; Reader: Prof. Una Chaudhuri)

Frederick Seward Gibson Prize (for best thesis on British literature)
Xiaoyue Isabel Guan Ishmael’s Narrative Perspectivism in Moby-Dick

(Advisor: Prof. Peter Nicholls; Reader: Prof. Jennifer Baker)

Amber Hunter Refusal & Response: Understanding Shamelism Today”

(Advisor: Prof. Wendy Lee; Reader: Prof. Paula McDowell)

L. Bouton Memorial Award for Research in English

William Bush Baer Memorial Prize (for the graduating senior who has excelled in English and contributed to life in the department)

Beatrice Masih Syntax and Slant Communication: The Grammar of Austen’s Characters”

(Advisor: Prof. Wendy Lee; Reader: Prof. Greg Vargo)

Alyssa Matesic Does She Really Love Dick? Authorial Self-Insertion as a Performative Feminist Strategy in How Should a Person Be? and I Love Dick

(Advisor: Prof. Tom Augst; Reader: Prof. Jess Row)

Estelle M. Holmes Award in American Literature   
Roger Lee Deakins Prize (our highest honor for the outstanding graduating senior in English and Dramatic Literature)      
Alexandra Reis A Tale Of Two Fitzgeralds: Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald’s Save Me The Waltz and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is The Night

(Advisor: Prof. Thomas Augst; Reader: Prof. Josephine Hendin)

Paloma van Tol Lovely In Eyes (Not) His: Re-reading as a Form of Seeing in Gerard Manley Hopkins’ Poetry”

(Advisor: Prof. Peter Nicholls; Reader: Prof. John Maynard)

Ilse Dusoir Lind Prize (for best honors thesis and the department’s nomination for the College’s Albert Borgman/Phi Beta Kappa Prize) 
Teresa Vu Figures of Ophelia in Japanese Narratives: Re-signification Through Immateriality”

(Advisor: Prof. Katherine Williams; Reader: Prof. Susanne Wofford)

Michael Waller Joyce, Shakespeare, and Benjamin: A Portrait of the Artist as a Flaneur

(Advisor: Prof. Richard Halpern; Reader: Prof. John Waters)

The 2016-17 Honors class with their completed theses